Sunday, May 22, 2005

Barry Callaghan vs. Frye?

From The Globe and Mail Books section this weekend, a review** of Barry Callaghan's new book Raise You Five (a collection of his essays and reviews), which I have not yet read but would like to if only to get a better handle on this thing called "duende," of which Callaghan (according to the review) has lots but of which Northrop Frye had none.

The review (by Michael Keefer) also contains this paragraph:
Other high points of this collection include Callaghan's deliciously astute deflation of John Updike's pretensions, his affectionate and respectful 1965 interview with Margaret Laurence (published only after her death in 1987), and a finely contextualized analysis of the bilious resentments that underlie Stephen Leacock's sometimes unfunny comic prose. Add to these perceptive reviews of Hugh MacLennan, Robertson Davies and Donald Creighton, who together with Leacock embody exclusionary tendencies for which Callaghan has little patience; and the luminous account of Yehuda Amichai in Jerusalem with which the book concludes.
Is the phrase "exclusionary tendencies" a code meaning that MacLennan, Davies and Creighton represent the traditional, or dead-white-guys, school of history and literature?

This book's definitely going on Mama Squirrel's want-to-read list, if only to satisfy my curiosity about that and about why Northrop Frye didn't dance the flamenco as well as Barry Callaghan.

**2014 updated link.

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